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(Cy)Eyeborgs, Slingshots & Skeletons: 3 Minutes of Filmmaking Pays Out $200,000


GE’s Focus Forward films are 3-minute documentaries featuring some the world’s most exceptional and innovative people presenting their ideas and inventions. Each year the project awards $200,000 to winners of the Filmmaker Competition, many of which have their 3-minute films premiered at Sundance. You’re gonna wanna take a few minutes and enjoy one or two of these.

As an example — in the Grand Prize winning film — Neil Harbisson, who was born with achromatopsia (a rare condition that causes complete color blindness) works with another inventor to create the “eyeborg,” an invention that translates color into sound. He wears this device on his head and it literally scans the world for color and transforms it into musical notes through a pair of earbuds. He is considered the first recognized cyborg in the world. I’d say director Rafel Duran Torrent nailed it. [Best line from the winning film: "It is very human to modify one's body with human creations."]

I’ve included the other four winners below. Certainly GE is aiming to connect the dots… their brand + innovation … but kudos to them for supporting supporting filmmakers to do it, and for rewarding them handsomely in the process.

2nd Place
The Artificial Leaf | Jared P. Scott + Kelly Nyks

3rd Place
Slingshot | Paul Lazarus

4th Place
Bones Don’t Lie and Don’t Forget | Kim Munsamy

5th Place
Mine Kafon | Callum Cooper

Take My Art! Jay Shells + The Rap Lyric Street Sign Project

Documentary makes the impermanent permanent. It’s a satisfactory compromise for street artist Jason Shelowitz (AKA Jay Shells), whose ‘Rap Quotes’ project has the longevity of a fruit fly or a sand castle at low tide.

Inspired by many rappers’ tendency to work the streets, blocks and parks of their upbringing into their lyrics, Shells decided to turn those shout-outs into official-looking street signs and hang them up at those specific street corners and locations. So the line “I’m blacker than midnight on Broadway and Myrtle” from Mos Def’s track ‘Champion Requiem’ got printed on a sign and hung at that street corner, a section of Brooklyn where the rapper grew up.

If you watch the film, you can see Shells is only securing the signs with hand-tightened nuts and bolts. He openly acknowledges that most of the signs likely won’t even stay up through the day and doesn’t care. Quite the opposite in fact. Imagining some hip hop fan coming across the sign, Shells says, “Fuck it, it’s my gift to you. Go take ‘em.”

Watching the video, I’m just as taken by the artist as I am the art. There’s an exhilaration — a giddiness, almost — apparent in Shells as he bounces from location to location, climbing his little step stool, snapping photos and thwarting the police. His creative energy is contagious – that my friends – is the energy that you give off when you make something you care about. Irrepressible.

Rap Quotes is a reminder to make stuff. At least part of you has to say feed the beast, fuck the money or you’ll never get anything off the ground.

MoVI Camera Stabilizer from FreeFly Cinema Looking Good To Revolutionize Camera Stabilization

Last week we checked out the Supraflux Video Camera Stabilizer, a small stabilizer that has been lighting up kick-starter, already making over double their goal with almost a month left. Today we’ve got the other side of the spectrum with the MoVi from my very good friends Tabb and Hugh at Firefly Systems. I’ve used these guy for several years now as go-to help for aerial RC choppers and other fun toys… but in the past week they’ve dropped a much more hi-tech entry that’s already built a lot of worthy buzz as the next big thing in camera stabilization. I got the early tip, but was swamped so Tabb & co went way down stream (j/k Vincent ;) to work w my dear friend Vincent and take the MōVI for a test drive. Vince gave it his seal of approval, especially praising its short learning curve + ability to quickly make both simple and complex shots. My favorite part is the separation of the camera carrying from the camera pointing function. Don’t know what I mean? Check out their video… one guy handles the camera, the other guy steers the tilt / pan (ie what the camera sees). Genius! The video below will give you a solid idea of just how smooth the MōVI is, and might make you look at handhelds with a new respect.

Using a 3 axis gyroscope to stabilize the camera, the MōVI system is portable and lightweight (3.5 pounds), making Scorsese-like shots a breeze. You can also manipulate the camera motion remotely by a second operator via joystick. Unfortunately the only real negative so far might be a deal-breaker; it’s currently priced at $15,000. Rumors have a $7,500 option coming soon, which is a little more manageable. The good news is, with technology like this breaking, you can bet a more consumer friendly option is on its way. Even more below for more of the MōVI in action.

DOing + MAKING Always Trumps Talking About It. Cool Vid Here.

Superfun piece here. Reverse motion isn’t a new technique by any stretch, but it doesn’t need to be. Messe Kopp had a cool idea and executed it – turned out fun and cool. And above all, he went and CREATED something, versus sitting around talking about it.

Great example of being creative on a low budget. #respect

Check out more of Messe Kopp’s stuff here:

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The track is called “White Lies” by Fred V & Grafix, you can get the single here.

Join Me! LIVE in a Google Hangout from Aspen Talking Photography, Music, SXSW and more…. with Robert Scoble & Chris Davenport.

UPDATE: here’s a recording of our chat…above! Thanks to all of you who watched live.
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LIVE today at 9:30 PDT, 10:30 Aspen, 12:30 NYT, 17:30 London right here on the blog or on my YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/chasejarvis.

I’m smack dab in the middle of shooting next year’s campaign for Aspen (last years BTS video here with octocopers and wicked visuals) but had the morning off and managed to wrangle a couple friends for a live Google Hangout to discuss a bunch of questions that have come across my desk in the last week about the Aspen/Snowmass campaign (helicopters and photography), my new favorite music, the democratization of technology and a few other odds and ends that you will find of interest. Joining me is one of the key talent for my Aspen shoot, one of the world’s best skiers, Chris Davenport, the tech guru Robert Scoble (fresh outta SXSW) and the digital maven here in Aspen, David Amirault.

Photographing with Remote Helis & World Class Athletes in Crazy Locations — Behind-the-Scenes in Aspen

Using the Force


Remember last year’s Aspen campaign? Well, we’re back at it again this year with even better conditions. We’ve been up before dawn and burning the midnight oil. Out the door right now – but stay tuned via social channels to follow along. In the meantime here’s a gallery of behind-the-scenes photos. Enjoy.

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Photo: Scott Rinckenberger

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Chris Davenport shows Scotty his backyard

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Photo: Andrew Price

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Photo: Scott Rinckenberger

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Photo: Jerard

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Photo: Jerard

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Safety first: Davenport digs a pit to check snow stability

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Chris Davenport - Professional at crushing it for the camera.

Digging Out — 30-Hour Timelapse of Northeast Storm NEMO… in 1 Minute

Nemo Timelapse from jere7my tho?rpe on Vimeo.

Pounded with as much as three feet of snow on Friday and Saturday, the Northeast, and especially New England, USA was basically buried by the storm called NEMO.

The region’s residents are still digging out, navigating roads lined by tall walls of snow, dealing with school closures and power outages. But for photographers – these storms bring rare opportunity. The internet has been alive with Nemo shots for days. From the empty and silent streets of Boston and New York, to the awesome 30-hour time lapse of the storm (above) on an unnamed Boston street, there is some unique imagery that comes from these storms. This timelapse captures the storm, more or less start to finish, in 1 minute. Enjoy! Created by Vimeo user: jere7my tho?rpe.

The Lumineers Perform ‘Ho Hey’ on chasejarvisLIVE at the Capitol Hill Block Party [2013 Grammy Nominees]

If you’re a regular reader you know that I’m a big Lumineers fan. They’ve been on my radar for a while and are one of my favorites right now. My friend John Richards from Seattle’s KEXP first brought The Lumineers to my attention. John, along with their manager Dave, gave me the head’s up that these guys had the special sauce. So we had them on chasejarvisLIVE back in April 2012. It was a very special episode and clear to everyone on the set that we were witnessing something extraordinary.

Not only did my friends assure me they would be great – but the band also had a story of following their dreams and mixing their enormous talent with a lot of hard work. Tons of hard work makes the “overnight success” happen. The results have taken the world by storm. Shortly after appearing on chaesjarvisLIVE they went on to do Jay Leno and then David Letterman. Then they were back in Seattle last summer for Capitol Hill Block Party and gave another amazing performance that we filmed and that I’m sharing with you today.

Holiday Sale + Round-the-Clock Creative Education Streaming at CreativeLIVE.com

What does a stream of non-stop 24/7 creative education look like? In case you’ve been on vacation, it looks like what http://www.creativeLIVE.com/live has looked like for the past two weeks…and will continue to look for the remaining few days of 2012. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the rest of the year, you can join a community of more than 1 million people strong and check out the most popular segments of streaming video education on photo & video, business & productivity, design & software courses as well to teach you real skills that will improve your work or hobby and help you run your creative business.

But wait, like the Ginsu steak knives…there’s more. As a big thank you for all this community support you’ve given creativeLIVE.com throughout 2012, yours truly and the creativeLIVE crew have put all courses on sale at 20% off and — for an even beefier savings — check out discounted bundles of coursework on Photo Essentials, Wedding Photography, Post Production and more. All of these bundles have more than 40 hours (if I’m not mistaken…), of the highest quality video instruction content available from many of the world’s best creative instructors.

Thanks again for supporting creativeLIVE + and our little creative revolution.

And YES there is a limited time to this offer. Ends 12/31/12. Get some.

Photoshoot with the World’s Largest Mobile Camera [chasejarvisLIVE re-watch]

Last week we received an early Christmas gift at my Seattle studio. Ian Ruhter and his crew brought the world’s largest mobile camera to chasejarvisLIVE to share the process of wetplate photography with us. Ian’s project has attracted a ton of attention and is a great example of the power of personal work. He transformed his life to follow his dream to do something different in photography. He is living the mantra of doing something different not just better. Ian and I took massive tintype portraits of Seattle music legends Chris Ballew and Ishmael Butler. If you want to see something totally new (old) in photography – watch this episode.

“I decided to invest in myself.” -Ian Ruhter

Finding time to create personal projects has been one of the most valuable experiences of my career as a visual artist. Ian’s commitment to his personal work has been turning heads. A professional snowboarder turned photographer he was at the top of his game as a staff photographer and commercial shooter for the most respected magazines and brands in the snowboarding world. Then, more than 2 years ago, he had a vision of a photo that had never been taken – and he needed to be the one to create it. In a moment he went “all in” and started his pursuit of a new, completely unique, creative experience. He spent all his savings and converted a box truck into a tintype camera and started traveling around the country in his camera taking wetplate processed tintype photos – some of the largest that have ever been created. Check out the video above for a teaser on Ian and his work.

Having Ian on chasejarvisLIVE was a great way wrap 2012 for the show. He was generous with his knowledge, personally showed me how his camera operates and introduced me (and all of you) to the process of wetplate photography. It was an all-around testament to the power of personal work…and the beauty of sharing that work.

How to Surf the World’s Biggest Wave — Step 1: Be the Best at Wiping Out [video]

Surf fans have likely already seen the video of Garrett McNamara, a 44-year-old Hawaii native, breaking the Guinness World Record for largest wave every ridden. Caught in Nazare, Portugal, the wave was measured by an independent panel of experts at a jaw-dropping 78 feet. Apparently McNamara almost missed out on this wave because he was so exhausted from the previous day of riding waves that, according to the professional surfer, “were a little bigger.” This is not breaking news – but I’m highlighting McNamara’s accomplishment because it is clear that Garrett has achieved, as my friend Robert Greene talked about on chasejarvisLIVE recently, Mastery of his work. [see that episode here.] How did he do it? By wiping out. A lot.

When most of us creative types talk about following a passion and making a creative career, doing so rarely means putting your life on the line. But the fear of taking that next step to live a creative life can sometimes feel like dropping into a monster wave like this one. But we need to consider, as my buddy Tim Ferriss has articulated [also on chasejarvisLIVE here], “What is the worst case scenario?” Often times, the worst case is not really all that bad. Along the way you WILL wipe out. You might fail. You might be embarrassed. Your work will probably be rejected. Case in point, McNamara won Billabong’s Biggest Wave Award with this ride (and $50,000) — but he ALSO won the Wipeout of the Year [see below]. Garrett was quoted as saying,

“If you can’t have a great ride might as well have a good wipeout. I guess I’m good at wiping out.”

Being good at wiping out, and the understanding that taking your licks is a part of the process, is critical to success. And it prepares you for the ultimate ride – the big opportunity. Had McNamara taken a spill on the 78-foot monster…,well, let’s just say the headlines could have been quite different. But it’s his experience with failure, with wiping out, that gave him the confidence to drop into this death-defying wave. And he rode out with a new world record. Talk about the ultimate commitment to one’s craft.

This 2-minute clip above is packed with great take-aways:

_Do what you love, because you love to do it. Awards and accolades should [will] be a by-product.
_Wiping out is a part of achieving mastery – be good at wiping out.
_Patience, hard work and practice will allow you to recognize an opportunity…and drop in on it.
_If you’re doing what you love – fear will not stop you
_If the challenge ahead inspires fear within you, it’s probably worth taking on.
_You’re never to old to ____
_Make sure you capture and share the moment or you’re left with…”you should have seen it yesterday…”

The Best of The Best. Highlight Reel from the Week. [Plus... Itchin' on a Photograph.]

Great week. Quick recap…

// Thanks to the family who’s be selected for this for a $20k paycheck. I’ll see you in NYC this weekend.

// Thanks to the creative community whose doing what they can to master their domain. What a great show. Thanks to you + Mr. Robert Greene (legendary.) You know anyone who’s website addy is powerseductionandwar.com is a badass.

// 7,000,000,000,000 pixels in this image of San Francisco. (i think that’s 7 gigapixel). Wanna learn how to make that with any dSLR? Go here.

// Pictures of a naked dancer in the shower. ‘Nuff said. (Oh, and there are some other cool dance photos too by Jordan Matter.)

// Fight for your rights here. This is seriously important stuff.

// This robot shoots a camera, and drives like a BMW. It’s the German engineering.

And for weekend… Had a tough time getting this little pop song outta my head this week. I’m itchin on a photograph. Grouplove.

Buy it here.

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itchin on a photograph grouplove

SPIKE – the Robotic Phantom Camera – Shoots Better Than You

Across the pond from me in Germany there is some stunning work getting kicked out of a little boutique firm called The Marmalade that you should know about.

I’m drawn to more than just the final result…I love HOW they’re acheiving it too… Behind the scenes thinking and such below. Have a great Monday.

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